Although Illinois is one of the states that will be legalizing marijuana for recreational use, it is unclear what this could mean for a growing black market marijuana vaping market. At least 510,000 cartridges have been seized throughout the country in the past two years. While in some cases the cartridges have been discovered during traffic stops or operations targeting a more traditional method of drug delivery, urgency has been heightened since vaping with THC has been linked to a deadly lung disease. In the last nine months, the disease has killed at least 47 people and made over 2,000 ill.
The Alton Police Department obtained a search warrant for a home at 1130 Riley Ave. after receiving multiple tips from community members about illegal drug activity. With assistance from the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, local officers from the narcotics investigation team entered the property. They arrested a 27-year-old man.
Illinois authorities recently charged 10 people with drug crimes over their alleged involvement in a drug trafficking ring that shipped cocaine from Texas to Chicago. The charges were announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
The Orland Park Police Department raided a home on the 13400 block of West Circle Drive. They used flash grenades when entering the home to execute a search warrant as part of a drug investigation. According to the police report, officers seized approximately 4 pounds of cannabis, drug paraphernalia and a small quantity of suspected Xanax. They arrested the homeowner, his son and three roommates. Authorities initially charged them with cannabis possession and intent to deliver.
When law enforcement in Illinois initiates a traffic stop, drivers are expected to comply. If a driver flees, there can be a litany of charges related to that act. In some cases, one incident will result in the arrest of another for separate charges. As a recent example of this, two men are facing allegations with one accused of fleeing police on a motorcycle and another possessing drugs.
On Aug. 19, Illinois authorities announced that a Woodstock man recently pleaded guilty to drug possession charges. A judge sentenced him to nine years in the Illinois Department of Corrections as part of a plea agreement.
Many police departments in Illinois and around the country equip their officers with portable drug-testing kits that are used to determine whether or not substances discovered in the field are illegal drugs. The kits are compact, inexpensive and easy to use, but they have been known to identify benign substances like baking soda and sugar as powerful Schedule I and Schedule II narcotics. Recent media reports suggest that this is what happened recently in South Carolina in a case involving Georgia Southern University starting quarterback Shai Werts.
In late July, Illinois authorities arrested six people during a series of drug busts over a two-day period. The incidents took place in and around Wood River.
A call from a concerned motorist about an erratic driver on the afternoon of July 8 led to a major drug seizure and serious narcotics charges for a 38-year-old man according to media reports. The motorist called 911 at about 1:45 p.m. to report a reckless driver on Illinois Route 106 between Detroit and Pittsfield. During the ensuing traffic stop, police allegedly found fentanyl, cocaine and heroin in the car.
On June 27, it was reported that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed HB 1438, which made possession of cannabis legal for those over the age of 21. The reform was designed to help those who were previously impacted by the state's marijuana laws. In addition to making marijuana legal, approximately 770,000 Illinois residents who have marijuana-related offenses on their permanent records may receive some relief. The passing of the bill makes Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.